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Courses Avg course load while doing research

  1. Oct 11, 2012 #1
    For those of you who have done undergraduate research at your home institution during the fall or spring semester, what was your average number of credits taken during that (or those) semester(s). I had read somewhere that the time commitment for undergrads was generally 10-20 hrs, depending on the professor's expectations, your role, etc. Is this an accurate estimate?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2012 #2
    It depends a lot on the difficulty of the courses I think. Last semester I was taking 19 hours and working about 12 hours a week in the lab. I didn't have any problems but this semester I'm taking 17 and having trouble getting 10 hours in the lab per week. I'm in all math/physics classes this semester and I think that is the difference.
  4. Oct 12, 2012 #3
    I just realized that I didn't really answer your question... Yes 10-20 sounds about right. If you're doing research for academic credit then you're typically expected to work more per week (probably 15-20) otherwise the professors will understand that you may not be able to devote as much time due to classes.
  5. Oct 12, 2012 #4
    I'm glad, actually, that you included the types of courses you're in, because that is the situation for me for the coming semesters. I had finished all my gen eds before becoming a physics and math major, so all I have left is upper division math and physics classes. I realize that the course load a person can handle is unique to that person and the classes they're in, but the ballpark estimate you gave and your experience definitely helped me get an idea of what to plan for. Thanks.
  6. Oct 12, 2012 #5


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    Again, I think it's very dependent on your advisor's expectations, which only you can gauge. For me, I could essentially work however long or short I wanted (my projects were more or less tangential to the over all research of the group), which ended up being ~10hr/wk along with whatever your standard courseload is (~4 physics/math courses /sem).
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